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HMRC confirmation that a VAT return has been filed

Do you receive, or can you view, confirmation that a VAT return has been filed under MTD?

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I have just submitted my first MTD VAT return for a client.

Under the old system, as you probably all know, you could obtain a copy of the return submitted, a copy of the submission receipt and a copy of a statement that included details of the amount due and the date that the direct debit will be taken (HMRC-Submit-a-return).

I've received nothing from HMRC with regard to the VAT return just submitted although my software, VT Transaction+, is saying that the return has been submitted.

Do you eventually get a confirmation email from HMRC? Does the client get an email? Can you view the VAT return submitted on HMRC's website and, if so, how?

The old login (not the ASA login) lists the VAT returns submitted for the last 15 months but does not list the one just submitted but says that it could take 24 hours for it to do so. Will the VAT return eventually appear in that list?

As it stands I've got nothing to show the client that the VAT return figures they approved have actually been filed with HMRC and that the direct debit will be actually be taken.

I'm flying blind here!

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By Matrix
19th Jul 2019 16:01

You can see the submission in VT, go to Display HMRC’s List of Your VAT Returns under the MTD tab and it shows the submitted return and the next VAT return not yet submitted.

Thanks (2)
By Triggle
to Matrix
19th Jul 2019 16:06

Hi Matrix.

Yes, I've seen that. That's why I say that VTT+ is showing the return as submitted.

But is that it? No official confirmation or ability to view the VAT returns submitted, confirmation that the DD will be taken etc. from the horse's mouth?

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By Matrix
to Triggle
19th Jul 2019 16:10

This is more than my other software does - I had to set up all my clients on VT since I could not see if the submissions had worked when filed from two of the biggest cloud software providers.

So you can only view from software (if you are lucky) and not from HMRC.

Thanks (2)
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to Matrix
19th Jul 2019 16:18

The next day after submission it should appear on liabilities as well.

For agents it is worth setting up some software to monitor all of the vat accounts "One ring to rule them all".

As people can tell the software varies as to what it does. Some provides more information than others. There is a limit set by HMRC's specifications, but individual software companies do varying amounts.

Thanks (1)
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By Matrix
to johnhemming
19th Jul 2019 16:37

Sorry I don’t know what you mean by the first paragraph.

Thanks (1)
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to Matrix
19th Jul 2019 16:56

Matrix wrote:

Sorry I don’t know what you mean by the first paragraph.


There are five APIs. One gives a list of obligations, one gives a list of payments, one gives details of a submitted return, one submits a vat return ...
...
...
and one tells you what liabilities you have (which indicates that they will take money off you if you have a live DD).

MTD software that gives access to all of these will also give you liabilities, but that updates in a batch run over night so it is not available on the day of submission - as far as I can tell.

Thanks (1)
By Triggle
to johnhemming
19th Jul 2019 16:40

Hi John

What is this magic monitoring software you refer to?

Thanks (1)
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to Triggle
19th Jul 2019 16:54

Its not magic (notwithstanding Lord of the Rings references). Basically you can use any MTD software that has the facilities (mine does of course) to look up submissions sent by other MTD software.

You almost certainly would need to use a bridging sort of software so you could use VT for this, you could use vat.direct or you could use easyMTD (to give three examples).

I am happy to talk people through how this approach works and what the easiest way is of doing this in a 10 minute call if people contact me (during the working day, however). (Email [email protected] or direct message via AW)

Thanks (2)
By Triggle
to Matrix
19th Jul 2019 17:56

Hi Matrix

I've just gone back into VT and clicked Display>VAT Returns and then clicked on the VAT return just submitted under MTD.

On the left hand side I clicked on Display Submission Receipt. It then shows a submission receipt and allows you to copy it but not print it.

Prima facie proof of filing I suppose.

Thanks (2)
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19th Jul 2019 17:03

The return wont show up on the old login- if you have Filed by MTD- best way to check is log into the clients government gateway business tax account. We set these up for our clients - and get authority to access - and it shows up

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By Triggle
to peter51pjr
19th Jul 2019 17:37

Hi Peter

Would you be able to provide a link to setting up a government gateway business tax account. A search only seems to find the login screen without a register facility.

Clients have been advised to set up a personal tax account but I presume that a business tax account is for limited companies and not individuals?

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By SXGuy
19th Jul 2019 17:52

Your software should at least give you confirmation it's been filed and a reference for the successful filing. If it isn't doing this, change software.

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By Triggle
to SXGuy
19th Jul 2019 17:59

Hi SXGuy

VT does - it took a while to find it (see my post above re the submission receipt).

It quotes a ReceiptID and a time stamp.

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to Triggle
19th Jul 2019 18:03

The receipt is good, but I always recommend that people print to PDF or paper a copy of the details of the return currently stored on HMRC's systems. That is a belt an braces proof that they have the correct data. The receipt is nice, but does not confirm the values.

Thanks (2)
By Triggle
to johnhemming
19th Jul 2019 18:12

Hi John

Thanks for that but how do you get to print a copy of the details of the return currently stored on HMRC's systems?

Is this by using the client's government gateway business account referred to by Peter?

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to Triggle
19th Jul 2019 18:24

You look it up using mtd software. There are over 400 suppliers of mtd software. According to the HMRC search 326 of them can do this.

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By SXGuy
to johnhemming
20th Jul 2019 07:29

I use quickfile mainly. And that gives me the options to test mtd authorisation, time stamp and receipt Id of submissions, and also ability to download calculations submitted.

That's enough for me.

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to SXGuy
20th Jul 2019 07:47

They may be giving you what HMRC have on their server as that is more useful than what you have submitted (they should, of course, be the same, but if something goes wrong it is best to have details of what was on HMRC's system).

For you it is probably worth seeing if you can use quickfile to monitor the accounts which are submitted via the cloud accounting systems. Then you have a fast mechanism for keeping an eye on things.

Personally I think efficiency is important and it is worth setting things up to reduce the amount of time spent on handling MTD.

Thanks (1)
By RedFive
20th Jul 2019 10:17

No offence intended but this is not tricky stuff.

I use QBO and have filed over 20 MTD returns (June quarter ends). All of my MTD qualifying clients are now signed up (Approx 60 clients across June, July & August quarter ends).

All received an email to me from QBO as successfully filed.

All show ‘accepted’ and submission number in the software overlaid on the return which can be printed.

I’ve also used EasyMTD and Iohn Hemmings (who has given loads of positive advice) software to view obligations and check the 3 clients I had issues with (no obligation dates).

I have given advice on here about vat certificates when they disappeared and also the tip to set up a client BTA for them. All easily searchable. In fact the BTA shows the full return the very second after you submit it. Yes the ASA is crap but really so what, so is the rest of HMRC systems. Anyone tried making sense of PAYE dashboard?

Yes, a faff to fix a couple of obligation date errors with hmrc but a lot easier than trying to sort out a clients contractor loan issue with them ......or the upcoming IR35 changes.......or the new reverse charge vat mechanism for CIS.

We are Accountants and meant to be reasonably intelligent - get a grip!

Thanks (4)
29th Jul 2019 09:14

MTD is dealt with via the new ASA so nothing will be listed on the old GG account.

By design all submissions are made using software APIs. The receipt for filing etc is dealt with by the software. Nothing is shown on the ASA. HMRC assumed all software will have this functionality but in practice not all software is using all the APIs so it is very hit and miss. You also have a problem that if you change software any history in your old software is lost. This is all by design. Or should I say, it is as HMRC intended. Because HMRC failed to carry out a proper pilot they didn't appreciate how it would be from an agent's perspective. We all liked the ability to log into a client and view previously submitted return but the loss of that wasn't fed back to HMRC during the pilot.

I've heard rumours that some of the old GG functionality will appear in the ASA but I don't think there is any intention to return to the full functionality of the old GG.

It seem counterintuitive that MTD has resulted in a loss of functionality, but that is what has happened. HMRC seems intent on reducing agent functionality. It's not just MTD. There are plenty of other examples eg SA402 that agents used to be able to do online but now have to do on paper.

Why is HMRC doing this? The UK tax system is so complex that it requires a whole industry to support taxpayers. If I was in Government I would ask why should businesses have to pay accountants for compliance: it should be easy enough for businesses to comply themselves. So I feel there is some pressure on HMRC to make the system simpler. HMRC decide to achieve this by simply cutting out accountants and introducing MTD because in HMRC's eyes MTD merely requires business to press the right button in their software. In reality the tax system remains as complex as it was and gets more complex by the day.

Thanks (2)
By Triggle
to kevinringer
29th Jul 2019 11:16

Hi Kevin

I have sorted this out now by using my tax software, Taxfiler, to access the MTD VAT records.

Taxfiler accesses more of the APIs than VT Transaction+ and you get to view all of the VAT return figures submitted and it will show the client's obligations, liabilities and payments.

I will still file the VAT returns directly via VT Transaction+ but will use Taxfiler to view the client's records because of its enhanced monitoring facilities.

I did, indeed, get a grip.

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to Triggle
29th Jul 2019 13:26

Users such as me would expect all software to run all APIs. I've just looked at https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/making-tax-digital-software and filtered down to software with all the APIs. There's 138 but some of the names used by a lot of accountants are not there such as VT, QuickBooks and Absolute. Sage is listed but I can't find these features on my copy of Sage.

Thanks (2)
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to kevinringer
29th Jul 2019 16:25

There are lots of ways in which the software can vary. There is also no reason why the free software necessarily is worse than the more expensive software.

The thing to remember is that you can use a different MTD supplies from that which you use to make a submission to monitor the outcomes.

For example, if you wanted you could set up a system which emails you a list of the status of all of your vat accounts say once a week, fortnightly or once a month regardless of which system you use to submit the data.

Thanks (2)
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